(1-21) I Am the Good Shepherd
We are the sheep. Christ is the Shepherd. And He is good.
How can we tell charlatan shepherds from the good and true Shepherd? The Good Shepherd calls us by name. He does not walk beside us or behind us, but in front, so that we will know the way and can follow Him. The Good Shepherd does not come to take, but give. He gives life to all who would receive it and gives life abundantly.
Charlatan shepherds run at the first sign of danger and leave the sheep to be destroyed. The Good Shepherd, however, gives His life in order to save the sheep. No one forced Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. No one took away His life. He gave it up on His own accord. Authority from God gave Him the power to lay down His life, and the power to take it up again.
Favorite verse: (10) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.